LOS ANGELES (CN) - A "world renowned" matchmaker for the super-rich claims that Oprah's best friend backed out of a deal to put her on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," though the matchmaker fulfilled her end of the deal by setting her up with "at least five introductions to attractive, fit, and wealthy men that fit within defendant's detailed specifications."
Orly Hadida dba Orly The Matchmaker sued Gayle King in Superior Court, on claims of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and fraud.
Hadida claims to be "the first matchmaker to be included in the Guinness Book of World Records," with a 25-year record of matching "exclusively wealthy clientele" with "suitable potential mates."
King is Oprah Winfrey's best friend, editor at large for "O" magazine, and has her own show on Winfrey's new OWN network, "The Gayle King Show," according to entertainment industry publications.
Hadida claims King promised to put her on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in return for her matchmaker services, or to pay her "her normal rate for work performed."
But now the Oprah Winfrey show is no more, and Hadida hasn't been paid either, Hadida says.
"The work plaintiff performed for defendant exceeded one of her packages labeled 'Orly's Celebrity of Fortune 500 Search' wherein clients will receive a two-year membership of introductions to the most sought-after bachelors in the world, providing the gentleman is single. This also gives clients access to two other programs: the 'Orly's Multi-Millionaire U.S.A. Search' and 'Orly's High-Profile Billionaire Worldwide Search.' For this program, clients are required to pay $500,000," according to the complaint.
It continues: "In the last two years, plaintiff provided defendant with at least five introductions to attractive, fit, and wealthy men that fit within defendant's detailed specifications. As a result of plaintiffs' diligence, plaintiff went on several dates with more than one of these men. Four of these five introductions occurred in California. For one of the introductions, plaintiff flew to New York to interview the man she would eventually introduce to defendant. Plaintiff spent hundreds of hours finding these men to introduce to plaintiff, organizing dates, providing advice and counsel by telephone and following up with conversations after each introduction with both defendant and the men she had met."
With the date for Oprah's last show on CBS fast approaching in May, Hadida says, she reminded King "about appearing on the show on or about May 8, 2011. Defendants thereafter breached the contract by refusing to respond to plaintiff's demands that she perform under the terms of the contract."
Attached to the complaint as an exhibit is a May 9 email from Orly The Matchmaker to Gayle King. After mentioning the "10 years" of work she put in for King, Hadida wrote: "I invested hundreds of hours on your behalf searching for potential mates, coordinating introductions, working on follow ups, getting feedbacks, making phone calls and providing you info on these men, their photos and phone numbers. I walked the extra mile on your behalf, I was kind to you, and took time to talk and listen to you on the phone any time you needed me!
"In return for my services, instead of paying my matchmaking fees, you promised to book me on the Oprah show. Based on your representations, I had every reason to believe you could deliver on that promise. Now that the Oprah show is one week away from last show, it seemed that you never intended fulfill your promise to me!
"As that seems to be the case, I would now like to be paid for the work I performed on your behalf. If you agree, I will prepare and submit an invoice for my services.
"Thanks. Orly the matchmaker."
The show ended 2 weeks later, after 25 years.
"Plaintiff reasonably believes that defendant never intended either to put her on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' or pay her for work she performed," the complaint states.
Hadida seeks punitive damages, costs and fees.
She is represented by Douglas Silverstein, with Kesluk and Silverstein.
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